Over the weekend my husband and I took the dogs to Las Vegas and stayed in a hotel. Every morning we got up early to take the dogs for a hike. It was very DRY in Las Vegas and we had a lot of static electricity encounters! I would shock myself when pushing the elevator button, static cling clothing and my hair was flying everywhere. Well, one morning on our hike, I was training Bandit and clicking for behaviors that I was trying to capture. We were having a great time and he was having a BLAST. He loves to work! Well, I noticed that all of a sudden OUT of NOWHERE (so it seemed), he did not want to take food from my hand. He would shy away and wince every time he went to take the food from me. I was so bummed! I thought that it was my watch reflection from the sun and that maybe it was shining in his eyes, then my husband said, "I bet you shocked him". Well, I will never really know for sure what caused Bandit to react this way, but it seems so logical that it could have been a static electric shock. Eventually Bandit got over it and was back to normal, but it was not until that evening before he would take food from my hand without squinting his eyes and being very hesitant.
However, this whole static shock situation made me think. WOW, if a little static shock from dry weather could cause my dog to wince and not want to take food from my hand, I could only imagine how a dog that is trained with a shock collar would feel. YIKES! That really made me sad, upset, and made me think. I have heard trainers say that the dog hardly feels the shock. Well, I am sure that a little static shock is NOTHING compared to a shock collar even on its lowest setting. Not to mention the damaged relationship between the dog and the owner. Bandit was AFRAID of me and every time he went to take food he would SHY AWAY. I was heart broken that my dog was afraid of me. THANK GOD IT PASSED and he realized that it was a one time thing. Let's just say for the sake of saying it, (which by no means I believe it) that a shock collar is no more than that static electric shock that I accidentally inflicted on my poor Bandit. Imagine that the dog realized that the owner is the one inflicting the pain, imagine that the dog would shy away, imagine that the dog would wince, imagine how that would effect the human/canine bond, and imagine what that dog would think of his owner.
It was such an eye opener for me. I've always HATED shock collars and DO NOT AGREE with the use of them in training or for any other purpose for that matter, but now I can really see how just the slightest aversive, the slightest shock, the slightest positive punishment could really effect the dog and how they feel about their human.
I really hope that this story has been an eye opener for you as well. Please go to http://www.baddogsinc.com/noshockcollars.html and become a member of the "No Shock Collar Coalition". Let's put a stop to shock collar training and ban shock collars from being sold!
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